Trump Asks High Court to Block Subpoenas for Bank Records

WASHINGTON (CN) — U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg temporarily placed on hold a lower court ruling Friday that ordered President Donald Trump’s Capital One and Deutsche Bank records be released to House Democrats.

Trump sought refuge for the records from congressional subpoenas earlier Friday. The stay lasts until 5 p.m. on Dec. 13.

President Donald Trump smiles during a luncheon with members of the United Nations Security Council on Thursday. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

The petition filed by Trump also asks to shield the financial records of several of his children.

“The issue at this stage is straightforward: whether the President will be allowed to petition for review of an unprecedented demand for his personal papers, or whether he will be deprived of that opportunity because the Committees issued these subpoenas to third parties with no incentive to test their validity,” the petition states. “This choice should be easy.”

The filing goes on to say the Supreme Court is likely to grant the case, as its petitioner is the president of the United States. Referencing subpoenas issued against former President Richard Nixon, the petition states that the court gives presidents “‘special solicitude’ and ‘high respect’ when deciding whether to grant review.”

On Tuesday, the Second Circuit ruled in a 106-page opinion that lawmakers could access the records, shortly before the House’s Intelligence Committee issued its report on the ongoing impeachment inquiry into the president. U.S. Circuit Judge Jon Newman, a Jimmy Carter appointee, wrote that it was Congress’ purview to obtain the documents to help discern the movement of illicit funds.

“It is the interest of two congressional committees, functioning under the authority of a resolution of the House of Representatives authorizing the subpoenas at issue, to obtain information on enforcement of anti-money-laundering/counter-financing of terrorism laws, terrorist financing, the movement of illicit funds through the global financial system,” he wrote.

U.S. Circuit Judge Debra Ann Livingston, a George W. Bush appointee, dissented from Tuesday’s majority opinion, saying that “Congress has no power to expose personal information for the sake of exposure.”

Friday’s petition to the Supreme Court points largely to Livingston’s dissent.

“The majority thus was wrong to treat these subpoenas as if they were issued ‘to any private individual,’” it states. “The President is not an ‘ordinary’ litigant.”

Trump also is embroiled in attempting to skirt two similar subpoenas, which ask for access to other financial records and tax returns. The House Oversight Committee in April subpoenaed Trump’s records at accounting firm Mazars USA, which the federal court in Washington, D.C. found was valid.

Trump petitioned the Supreme Court in that case as well, which has since stayed the subpoena. A decision by the Supreme Court to hear the cases is expected in mid-December.

New York state prosecutors also sought Trump’s tax records, and in September private attorneys for the president sued to block their subpoena, with backing from the Department of Justice. In October, a New York federal judge dismissed the case, which Trump appealed to the Second Circuit.

In November, that court said the subpoena from prosecutors could stand. Trump also appealed this decision to the Supreme Court.

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